The Hallmark Channel will debut Christmas at Dollywood on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. The new film stars Danica McKellar and Niall Matter, with Dolly Parton making an appearance. The movie was filmed on location at Dollywood in November, during the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival.
If you miss the debut airing tonight, don't worry! Hallmark will repeat the film several times before Christmas Day. As KnoxNews notes, repeat airings are scheduled for 8 p.m. ET Friday, Dec. 13; 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 15; 10 p.m. ET Thursday, Dec. 19; 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20; and 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 5.
McKellar, who starred on The Wonder Years and has become a familiar face to Hallmark Channel original movies fans, plays Rachel Lewis, a single mom and award-winning Broadway producer who learns her investors mismanaged a holiday show she was planning. The show was forced to lose before it opens, but she suddenly gets a call from a friend in Tennessee who suggests she stage the show during the Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood.
There is only one issue with this plan. She has to work with Luke Hakman (Matter), Dollywood's entertainment manager who hopes to become the next general manager. The two clash, but eventually reach compromises (and find love?) to make their boss happy.
Christmas at Dollywood was directed by Michael Robinson, who also helmed Lifetime's A Sweet Christmas Romance. Nina Wineman, who has written other Hallmark movies, wrote the script. Parton announced Christmas at Dollywood in July.
"I grew up watching Dolly Parton on TV. I love her. She is everything. I got to meet her -- she is charismatic and gorgeous and lovely, and she's the best person ever," McKellar told Entertainment Tonight after it was announced. "I'm so excited that I get to work with her."
"Dolly Parton is a bright light who is rich in spirit, kindness and love," Michelle Vicary, Executive VP of Programming and Publicity at Crown Media Family Networks, said in a statement in July. "Christmas at Dollywood features Danica McKellar in a story about finding love and new beginnings in the most familiar place: home. A holiday movie set in a winter wonderland like Dollywood exemplifies the quality of the talent, storytelling and filmmaking that has made Countdown to Christmas the No. 1 program event on television for 10 years."
Parton also recently announced plans to make more music about her faith. She was recently nominated for the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for "God Only Knows," a collaboration with For King & Country.0comments
"I’ve got three faith-based songs out now, which I feel very good about," she told PEOPLE last month. "Whether you believe in God or not, we need to believe in something bigger and better than what’s going on because we’re not doing too hot. We need to try to do a little better.”
Photo credit: © 2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Curtis Hilbun